Bhupathi-Mirnyi in semifinals of ATP World Tour FinalsBy IANS
Saturday, November 27, 2010
LONDON - India’s Mahesh Bhupathi and Max Mirnyi of Belarus clinched the last semi-finals spot at the ATP World Tour Finals defeating South Africa’s Wesley Moodie and Swede Dick Norman 6-4, 6-4.
The two ended up runners-up in Group B with their victory Friday and will now face Group A winners, Poland’s Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski.
“It is nice being in the semi-finals,” said Bhupathi. “Going into the match it was a must-win situation for us, so we were glad to get it done. We played pretty well, very solid. I thought we served really well and happy that we won.”
This is the first time Bhupathi and Mirnyi have entered the semifinals in the three appearances in the tournament. They had failed to clear the round robin stages on their first two appearances in 2003 and 2004 in Houston.
In the other semi-final, defending champions Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan will meet the winners of Group B, Daniel Nestor of Canada and Nenad Zimonjic of Serbia.
Third-seeded Bhupathi and Mirnyi served solid and broke in the third game of the match before Mirnyi served out the first set in the tenth game.
The Indo-Belarusian pair carried the momentum in the second set and breaking Moodie’s serve in the third game, cruised to a 5-3 lead. They had an opportunity to close the match in the ninth game when they had two match points through a superb backhand winner off a smash by Bhupathi but failed to convert.
However, Mirnyi in the next game made no mistake in serving out the set and the match, which lasted 78 minutes.
“The pressure goes both ways, for them and us, but definitely when we got the early break to go up 2-1 that eased the tension. Moodie and Norman are always a very dangerous team with the way they serve, but happy that we got through,” Bhupathi said.
“They (Fyrstenberg and Matkowski) are obviously playing their best tennis of the year. They won the group, but we’ve beaten them every time we’ve played them this season. It’s going to be a good game. The atmosphere here is awesome, every day we can stay alive in this tournament it’s a bonus for us. Hopefully we can keep going till the weekend is over.”